I don't think I ever shared with you how Mama Flock came to be and came to be named. Today, in my Bible reading, the Lord brought me to Psalm 100 (a great passage of thanksgiving if you need a good starting place for this season) and I was reminded of the early days of this blog.
You see, the Lord has worked in me for years (and I imagine He'll continue doing so) and led me towards passions I didn't even know I had so that I might serve Him in these areas while I'm here in the world.
For as long as my memory goes back, I've been a big sister. So one of my earliest passions became my family, and more specifically, my sibling relationships. I was a helper to my mom and dad with my two younger sisters and even though sometimes there was tension in our relationships growing up, I always held onto that role as something special and dear that God gave to only me. It's important to me.
I got to be their oldest sister: to look out for them, to teach them things, to help them when they needed it. Sometimes, in this role, I got to be the link between the children and the adults of the family -- their designated representative in negotiations. I like to think I helped resolve confusion in the midst of misunderstanding between parents and kids. It's probably true that I was often the cause of said confusion instead, but it seemed like part of my responsibility as the one who had spent the most time with Mom and Dad before they came along, but was still considerably a child.
I feel like in personality, while my sisters are probably as night and day as two people can get, I fall somewhere in between. I possess the love of art and nature that Jessica has and the congeniality that D has. I can also be quite introverted as Jessica can be and on the other hand, I can be an absolute rabble-rouser like D can be. There are many differences, too, but I think you get the idea.
Even into adulthood, I have felt passionate about being one of my sisters' biggest cheerleaders and encouragers. Sometimes, I go further than necessary to help one of them out because that role is so ingrained in me from the earliest days I can remember. My husband helps me to know when to balance helping them out and having enough left to give to our own family and kids. I have shared some of that struggle with you here in the blog if you spend some time reading older posts.
But just as I grew passionate about my role as oldest sister, I developed other passions. I love to write, to photograph, to serve, to help. I am an advocate for education and adoption and sometimes education about adoption. One thing I never saw coming though, was my passion for mothers.
In order to use me the way He wanted to, God needed me to be put into a position where I could truly understand some of the ups and downs of motherhood in order that I might minister to the needs of other mothers. He has spent some time preparing me to become passionate for the cause of mothers in this world.
Ten years ago, He gave us the gift of five challenging and wonderful children and allowed me to stay home with them, to get to know them, to educate them and to struggle through difficult days and rejoice in the blissful moments. He put their birth mothers in my life so I might learn about the bond between mother and child born to her in spite of circumstances and separations that followed. As a foster mother, I got some personal sense of that loss and it hurt every time one of the children placed with us had to go. He gave me a very close view of life as a birth mother who has gotten to raise her children, through they eyes of my sister, D. I even had the blessing of seeing E come into this world as I was present throughout most of the pregnancy and I was there in her delivery room. So I, too, know the miracle of birth.
In some ways, I think He was even preparing me to perceive this passion for mothers when he gave me the role of oldest sister. While I did a lot of caring for my sisters, they were, after all, my peers. Just like the other mothers out there. Young or old, we all have the same level of experience when we begin the journey of motherhood. We each only get out of it what we put in.
There are so many kinds of mothers in the world. There are older moms and teen moms; there are moms of many and moms to just one; there are adoptive moms, birth moms and grandparents who, through varied circumstances, have come to raise their grandchildren as their own; there are moms with special needs children; there are moms of gifted children; and there are moms who have lost their children.
However they came to be the mamas of this world, we have one thing in common: children.
Yes, I am also passionate about children and if you don't know that, you haven't read enough posts in my blog. But there are so many in the world whose specific calling is to help the hurt, abandoned, needy children out there. And then there is me (and others like me ... I don't pretend to think I am the only one called to the mom ministry).
While I love children, I feel a specific calling on my life to be an encourager to my sisters in the world who are out there every day raising these future men and women. The job is often tiring and thankless -- I know! I've been there! I'm still there! -- but there is no reason we cannot lift one another up and inspire one another to become better mothers.
While I do feel passionate about coming alongside other mothers, I realize that I am just one of you and I need you to come alongside me as well. I possess no special skills in the realm of motherhood. I've learned how to do this job as I go along, just like the rest of you. But the Lord put it on me to step up and do something about my heart for you moms!
The good news is that none of us is ever alone as long as we accept the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior. There are days when we may feel isolated, but He is always by our side, leading us along the path and giving us hope for each new day that what we do as mothers each and every day will some day be rewarded.
Proverbs 31:28 speaks of a godly woman and says, "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her..."
We are promised this gift of blessing and praise -- and it may not be till we are gone from this world and they come speaking at our funerals -- but, we are to stay the course, knowing that God does not forget his promises.
We are sheep in God's flock. We are soldiers in His army. We are sisters. We are mothers. We are aunts and grandmothers. I love each and every one of you and I fully believe that if I look out for you and you look out for me, together, we can raise this next generation of adults successfully, all the while keeping our eyes above.
Proverbs 100:3 (pictured above) became the theme verse for which this blog was named. We are a flock of mamas. We are charged with raising up the next generation of godly people in a world that wants to forget what God has done for us. We have been chosen. I know we can do this. But only with the support and accountability of one another.
Will you join me?
If you have a personal story related to motherhood that points others to Christ, I invite you to write about it and share it with me via email. With your permission, I would like to share some of those stories here (you'll get the credit).
I have said that this is my blog, where I share my stories. This is true, but I certainly cannot do motherhood alone and therefore, why should I get stuck filling this blog all on my own? I hope to gain wisdom from my fellow mothers in the flock if you'll let me. I hope you will spread the word to other mothers you know about this request for submissions.
My email address is mamaflock7 (at) gmail (dot) com. This request is ongoing and while I will not be able to post all your stories, I hope through this means, I can share with you some really great ones. I hope we can all be encouraged by the experiences of one another.
I will be asking for other "themed" submissions in the future. For now, I'm keeping it general because the whole concept is new.
Let's see how this goes, shall we?